Author Archives: Geisel Communications

seafood market

Mercury in Fish, Seafood May Be Linked to Increased ALS Risk

Mercury in Fish, Seafood May Be Linked to Increased ALS Risk

There is an important association between eating fish and seafood with higher levels of mercury and being at a higher risk of developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), according to a preliminary study released this week.

Does Mercury in Fish Play a Role in ALS? – U.S. News & World Report via HealthDay News

Read article – Quotes Elijah Stommel, professor of neurology, who was the lead author of a recent study that found eating mercury-laden seafood may raise the risk of developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). “For most people, eating fish is part of a healthy diet,” says Stommel. “But questions remain about the possible impact of mercury in fish.” (Additional coverage:, The Post, Daily Mail, and Medical News Today.)

Program to Train Doctors to Spot Patients Abusing Drugs – U.S. News & World Report via Associated Press

Read article – A feature story about a new initiative run by the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and the New Hampshire Area Health Education Center that will train health care professionals at five colleges to screen patients who are at risk of, or may already be, abusing drugs or alcohol. The goal of the initiative is to reduce substance abuse rates that are among the highest in the nation. (Additional coverage: NH1, San Luis Obispo, Charlotte Observer, and the Valley News.)

The Right Way to Take Every Type of Sleeping Pill – Health

Read article – Quotes Michael J. Sateia, active emeritus professor of psychiatry, who led the writing of new guidelines for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine to help doctors prescribe—or not prescribe—14 different medications and supplements for the treatment of chronic insomnia in adults. “It’s a reminder to clinicians that it’s important to choose an agent that has an appropriate duration of action for the particular type of insomnia you’re treating,” says Sateia.

Ledyard Charter School and Two Medical Students Team Up to Investigate Nutrition and Science – Valley News

Read article – A feature story about medical students Emily Dollar DC ’14, MED ’19, and Emily Georges, MED ’19, who crafted a curriculum for the Ledyard Charter School in Lebanon, N.H., as part of Geisel’s Rural Health Scholars. The curriculum includes providing students with case studies on different health and nutrition issues. “When I was volunteering here with a group for girls, two of whom had just become young mothers, the subject of food kept coming up as something we felt needed to be covered,” says Dollar. “So when (head of school) John (Higgins) mentioned that he was hoping to be able to provide lunch and breakfast to all the students, I immediately knew I wanted to help him out.”

Dartmouth Student’s Yoga Program Helps Injured Brains Heal – U.S. News & World Report via Associated Press

Read article – A feature story about Kyla Donnelly Pearce, Geisel ’17, who started a program to study how practicing gentle yoga regularly might help patients with brain injuries cope. Pearce found that patients who took the yoga classes reported feeling “less bothered by negative emotions, including feeling lonely, bored, anxious, sad or depressed and/or angry or aggressive.” (Picked up by Washington TimesBoston.comSF GatePortland Press Herald and many more. This story was originally published earlier this month by the Valley News.)

Medical Mystery: Why Is Back Surgery So Popular in Casper, Wyo.? – The New York Times

Read article – An opinion piece co-authored by Jonathan Skinner, the James O. Freedman Presidential Professor in Economics, professor of community and family medicine, and of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice; about how innovations in health care diffuse unevenly across geographic regions — not unlike the spread of a contagious disease. And even when studies show a new technology is overused, retrenchment is very slow and seemingly haphazard.